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Witness to a Crime -- A Citizens' Audit of an American Election

Canterbury Press (2008-03) Richard Hayes Phillips

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More Info: Election Integrity

From the section "FORENSIC EVIDENCE" on page 198

August 6, 2006

During the summer of 2006 we photographed all the regular punch card 
ballots from the 2004 presidential election for 46 selected precincts in Cleveland.
We also photographed the absentee ballots for 14 of these same precincts.
Among our most interesting findings pertained to the uncounted ballots. These
would be "undervotes," which contain no vote for president, and "overvotes," 
which contain two or more votes for president. There were 775 such ballots
among the regular ballots, and 50 among the absentee ballots. This paper 
analyzes why these ballots were not counted as votes for president.

It was not easy to gain access to the ballots. My initial public records request
to the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections was dated April 3, 2006. The ballots
were not even located until 74 days later, on June 16, 2006, when Adele Eisner
found them. As stated in my Declaration to Federal District Court:

On June 8, 2016, I received an email from the Board of Elections stating that Gary F. Barna, Executive Assistant to the Board of Elections Director Michael Vu, had boxed up all the 2004 punch card ballots and was not sure where he put them (there were 687,255 ballots cast in Cuyahoga County). At 2:00 P.M. on Friday, June 16, 2006, at which time my records request had been pending for 10 weeks and 4 days, we showed up at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections with two video cameras rolling. Mr Barna let us into the storage room in the basement, where our people, not Board of Elections personnel, found the ballots, not in any of the locked cages, but in a more freely accessible location within the storage room. (On a subsequent visit, the door to the storage room was found to be unlocked). The ballots were stacked up on pallets, shrink wrapped all together, against the wall, hidden behind other elections materials. We tore off the shrink wrap, rearranged the boxes with the labels facing outward, set aside the boxes that contain the ballots for precincts I had requested, and the boxes that contain the absentee ballots, none of which had ever been tallied at the precinct level, having only been tallied by Congressional, State Senate, and State Assembly district. We photographed the boxes in place, as we left them.
During a telephone conversation on July 24, 2007, Adele Eisner clarified the story. She arrived alone at the Cuyahoga County Board of Elections. Cheryl Ellis forestalled her at the door and implored her to go home, saying that there was no appointment, and trying to divert her attention by offering her the agenda for the next Board meeting. Adele said "No, I'm going to find the ballots." Cheryl implied that this would not be possible, that Gary Barna had one of the keys to the double-locked door, at that he had been away on vacation. When Adele ascertained that Gary Barna had already returned from vacation and was actually upstairs, she asked to be escorted to his office, which she entered with her tape recorder and video camera rolling. Mr. Barna immediately acquiesced and went downstairs, where the outside door to the ballot room was found to be unlocked, as were the cages within which other ballots and elections materials were stored. Jeffrey Kirkby, the other person with a video camera, did not arrive until Adele had found the ballots, at which time Vicki Lovegren and I joined them in the ballot room and began tearing off the shrink wrap and organizing the boxes of ballots.

From Page 214


I express my heartfelt thanks to all the citizen volunteers who bravely and
steadfastly photographed the forensic evidence, all day long, day after day, in 
Board of Elections offices across the State of Ohio. 


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Title Witness to a Crime -- A Citizens' Audit of an American Election
Publisher Canterbury Press
Author Richard Hayes Phillips
Pub Date 2008-03
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Note Documents election funny-business in 2004 OH election. Mentions Michael Vu
Keywords Election Integrity
Media Type Book
Media Group News
Curator Rating Plain
Book ISBN 978-0-9798722-3-5
Author Name Sortable Phillips, Richard Hayes
Publish Status Published
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Topic revision: r1 - 2017-03-22, RaymondLutz
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